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It’s a rare enough event, so we like to celebrate it, when Sputnik’s favourite Aussie pop whore Davey Boy’s tastes overlap with anybody else’s.

It’s even more unusual when two of those rare events collide, but as it happens Davey and I share more than just a name: we both have a keen appreciation of the full-on badassedness of P!nk and the slightly less full-on glamness of Idol pretty boy Adam Lambert.

Here’s the collision – Lambert’s 2010 hit ‘Whataya Want From Me’ was co-written by P!nk and recorded for her 2008 album Funhouse. It didn’t make the final cut, but Lambert gave it a key platform on his debut album For Your Entertainment. Now P!nk’s original demo has emerged and it’s virtually identical – the arrangement is the same, possibly (probably) the same exact instrumental track, but obviously with P!nk’s voice on top.

Being virtually identical, there’s not an awful lot to tell between the two tracks, yet it’s clear even from the rough mix that Lambert’s singing really makes the track – in fact, from the demo it’s pretty clear to see why it wasn’t included on the final mix of Funhouse. In any case, it’s a handy little insight into the fine margins that separate a really good pop single from just another cut on the studio floor.

Pink – ‘Whataya Want From Me’:

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Adam Lambert – ‘Whataya Want From Me’:

Though this song has been floating around for the better part of 2 weeks now, here’s your friendly reminder to give it a listen if you haven’t yet been swallowed by its monstrous swell. Robert Smith, eccentric frontman of goth legends The Cure, teams up with glitched out troublemakers Crystal Castles for this enormous cover of Platinum Blonde’s 1984 hit ‘Not In Love’. Play it at a deafening volume and wait for that chorus to kick in.

Crystal Castles – Not In Love (ft. Robert Smith) by BHughling

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In years gone by, there just never would have been a debate: Snoop Dogg is black.

In recent years, however, Snoop has been seen to engage in a number of typical “white person” pursuits, such as expressing a desire to appear in Coronation Street, playing Metallica songs and continuing to use words ending in “-izzle” years long after it became annoying and everybody else agreed to stop. He may even play golf.

It took an appearance on TBS’ George Lopez show earlier to finally answer the question we’d all been asking: who’s blacker, Snoop Dogg or Charles Barkley? The results are below.

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Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have been presented with an opportunity. It was October 29th and I was about to interview Kelly Shaefer, frontman for the legendary, since-reunited (sort of) death metal band Atheist. This was, and is, kind of a big deal. With the release of Atheist’s first release in 17 years looming, the interview could have gone either way. Luckily, as you’ll find out, it went pretty damn well. For 25 minutes we talked about Jupiter, the nineties, family life and yes, Tony Choy’s name came up. And before you expect controversy, just in case you misread anything, I’ll reiterate something here: Tony and Atheist are not feuding and Tony and Kelly are on good terms. Shit happened, as it does, and in reading this it’s important to remember that.

Jupiter, Atheist's first album in 17 years, comes out tomorrow

Kelly Shaefer: How are you, man?

Tyler Munro: I’m good. How does it feel to be back?

KS: It feels good, man. It’s all really been super-positive, which is refreshing. I mean, compared to our past, it’s been a lot less struggle to get people to kind of understand the music these days. It’s good times for Atheist.

TM: Is that relaxing to kind of just be able to do your thing and not have to…

KS: … yeah, explain overtly. The landscape for music is so much more forgiving now for experimentation. It’s not…

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Depending on who you believe, The Room is either the most unintentionally funny serious movie ever made or the greatest stitch-up of all time. Either way, nobody who sees Tommy Wiseau’s $6 million directorial debut is quite the same afterwards.

Now, the film’s most famous line – “you are tearing me apart, Lisa!” – has its own dubstep remix, and it’s bizarrely catchy. As far as dubstep goes, it doesn’t sound all that dubsteppy (the other, filthier mix sounds more like what I’d consider dubstep), but it’s hard not to admire the way its creator has taken a couple of errant lines and transformed them into an anthem.

Note: this probably won’t make any sense to anyone who hasn’t seen the film. There’s a lesson there.

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Wikipedia fanatics are almost universally regarded as creepy, pedantic weirdos whose insatiable lust for secondary sources is matched only by their desire to reference said sources in a neutral point of view (NPOV). That’s more or less correct.

At the same time, I have to have sympathy for Wikipedia editors, as they are essentially charged with enforcing a set of increasingly detailed and hard-to-follow rules on ignorant but otherwise well-intentioned people. In that sense, you could say the average Wikipedia editor is like Jom on steroids (coincidentally, Jom is actually on steroids).

The worlds of the obsessive Wikipedia editor and the average user clashed again a few months back, when a seemingly random submission to the article for Warren G’s classic G-Funk hit ‘Regulate‘  snowballed and brought dozens of independent contributors together in a quest to provide the most accurate and detailed synopsis of the song.

‘Regulate’ is essentially a synopsis of a night in LA when Warren G (the G stands for Griffin – a good, strong Irish name) is held-up by some gangsters and Nate Dogg comes to his rescue, unloading a friendly round or two in the assailants’ chests while he does. It’s a charming tune and one that translates particularly well to prose (if only for the multitude of trivial details laced among the carnage of the narrative).

The “project” went on for almost a month, with considerable improvements made to the original synopsis, before an editor noticed the high…

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Just a handful of weeks left before 2010 is officially over, but there are still a few more releases left that are going to be worth checking out. In the blog section, be sure to check out Tyler Munro’s interview with Kelly Shaefer of Atheist.

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of November 09 , 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

The Aquabats! – Radio Down! [EP] (Fearless Records)
Alter Bridge – AB III (Alter Bridge Recordings)
Marsha Ambrosius [Floetry] – Late Nights & Early Mornings (J-Records)
As I Lay Dying – The Powerless Rise [Box Set] (Metal Blade)
Atheist – Jupiter (Season of Mist) – Tyler Munro
Attrition – Dreamtime Collectors (Metropolis Records)
Behemoth – Evangelia Heretika [CD/DVD] (Metal Blade Records)
Bon Jovi – Greatest Hits: The Ultimate Collection (Island)
Susan Boyle – The Gift (Syco Music)
Brokencyde – Will Never Die (BreakSilence Recordings)
Cee-Lo Green – The Ladykiller (Radiculture/Elektra)
Julie Christmas – The Bad Wife (Rising Pulse Records)
Clan Of Xymox – Hidden Faces (Metropolis Records)
The Concretes – WYWH (101 DISTRIBUTION) Kiran Soderqvist
Conjure One – Exilarch (Nettwerk Records) – Trey Spencer
Crade of Filth – Darkly Darkly Venus Aversa (Nuclear Blast)
Dave Matthews Band – Live In New York City [2-CDs] (RCA)
Deathspell Omega – Paracletus (Norma Evangelium

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They’re not doing anything we haven’t heard a million times before (particularly with the absurd amount of bands doing it right now) but where The Pains of Being Pure At Heart get off easy is that they capture a charm that few of their peers are able to tap into. Their debut record was playful and new-wave romantic in way that made you forget The Field Mice were doing this way back in the 80’s and their latest single “Heart In Your Heartbreak” shows us that nothing’s changed. Belong isn’t set for release until March next year but here’s your early litmus test (pro tip: don’t take it too seriously):

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Heart In Your Heartbreak by forcefieldpr

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Delerium – Epiphany


2010 Nasty Byte

01. Angelicus
02. Love
03. After All
04. Terra Firma
05. Innocente
06. Self-Saboteur
07. The Way You Want It To Be
08. Twilight
09. Flowers Become Screens
10. Silence
11. Incantation (encore)
12. Forgotten Worlds (credit roll)


Bill Leeb has had an exhausting, yet productive year. He released Improvised Electronic Devices with his Front Line Assembly project, an acoustic album with Delerium, and apparently he’s also just about finished with Delerium’s next full-length album. As if that wasn’t enough, he also managed to get a live DVD released of Delerium’s 2008 performance at Nightclub 9:30 in Washington D.C. with additional footage from Atlanta, West Palm Beach and Montreal. For those that are unfamiliar with Delerium and their music, a live performance might not sound like that big of an undertaking, but it certainly is. Thankfully, despite a few hiccups, Epiphany is an enjoyable experience that is punctuated by stunning visuals and a great clear sound.

Kristy Thirsk

Let’s be honest, Delerium’s music is not exactly built for a live setting. The band’s combination of world music, smooth new age and electronic pop is great for chilling out to, but watching stationary musicians for ninety-five minutes would be a tedious prospect. Fortunately, someone else was thinking the same thing and they incorporated a lot of great visual elements into the DVD’s presentation. The most noticeable…

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Were proof needed that ‘Fuck You’ is in fact the new ‘Crazy’/’Since U Been Gone’/’Poker Face,’ London singer-songwriter Eliza Doolittle is one of about a million artists (not an accurate estimate) to begin incorporating the song into live sets.

I shudder to think how many more artists would follow suit were there to be some sort of profanity-less version, but unfortunately that song simply does not exist.

Here’s Eliza’s cover recorded backstage with two awkward 14-year-olds she has charitably recruited to play in her band. Stripped down to just double bass and vocals, it’s got a nice laid-back jazzy feel, although it’s probably best not to actually watch the video because her actions and expressions are ill-fitting and really fucking annoying. I don’t think she’ll make it as an actress.

If you do watch the video, look out for the “oh shit she’s a gold digger…” line and the awkward expressions on the supporting cast’s faces as they struggle not to blurt out “nigga” at the end.

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It’s no great secret that Amy Winehouse’s best music invariably comes about when she a) collaborates with otherwise nauseating super-producer Mark Ronson and b) channels the great female singers of the Spector-inspired Sixties.

With this in mind, it should come as no great surprised that Amy’s cover of Lesley Gore’s ‘It’s My Party,’ which features production from the still very nauseating Ronson, is what people who are prone to boorish sports metaphors might call a “home run” or perhaps even a “slam dunk.” Covering a genuine classic is always a risky business, but as with her cover of Sam Cooke’s ‘Cupid,’ it’s almost effortlessly brilliant.

‘It’s My Party’ is muted to appear on the upcoming Quincy Jones tribute, Q: Soul Bossa Nostra.

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I know it’s unfashionable and frightfully rude to stick up for major labels these days – and goodness! I take no pleasure in doing it – but a recent post by industry litigator Gary Stiffelman on The Comet raised a number of insightful points.

Stiffelman argues for the continued usefulness (note: not essential goodness or moral worth) of major labels, making the case that while the music industry pie might be shrinking, the major labels continue to perform a necessary service that nobody else can replicate. Basically, he says that every major musical artist (measured in monetary terms) has benefited hugely from the major label model, and this is as true today as it was 20, 30, 40 and 50 years ago.

He dresses it needlessly in legal jargon (“disintermediation” is just a fancy way of saying “unnecessary” – he is a  lawyer after all) so I’ve picked out the essential points. He states:

1. [T]he supposition that the internet levels the playing field and allows every aspiring artist to launch his or her own superstar career is naïve at best, and dangerous at worst.

2. I cannot think of any music superstar that came onto the scene during my 60+ year career that didn’t benefit from the efforts and money of a major label.

3. There are always exceptions to every rule, but the labels, for all of…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of November 02 , 2010. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

7 Walkers [Garetful Dead's Bill Kreutzmann & Papa Mali] – 7 Walkers (Response Records)
AfroCubism – AfroCubism (Nonesuch)
Jason Aldean – My Kinda Party (Broken Bow)
Autumn Defense [Wilco's John Stirratt & Pat Sansone] – Once Around (Yep Roc Records)
Bad Religion – Vinyl Box Set (Epitaph Records)
The Big Four: Live From Sofia, Bulgaria [5 CD/2 DVD Set] (Warner Bros)
Black Dub – Black Dub (Jive – R.E.D.)
Black Sheep – From the Black Pool of Genius (Bum Rush Records)
Mariah Carey – Merry Christmas II You (Island)
City Champs – The Set-Up (Electraphonic)
Elvis Costello – National Ransom (HEAR MUSIC)
Dark Party – Light Years (Old Tacoma Records)
Sean E Depp – Catharsis (Study Music)
Destroyer – Archer on the Beach (Merge Records)
Devin The Dude – Gotta Be Me (Real Talk Records)
Neil Diamond – Dreams (Columbia)
Diplo presents – Blow Your Head: Dubstep [Various Artists] (Mad Decent)
Brian Eno – Small Craft On A Milk Sea (Warp Records) – Cam
Good Charlotte – Cardiology (Capitol)
Helloween – 7 Sinners {EU} (The End Records)
Helstar – Glory Of Chaos (AFM Records)
Huey Lewis & The News – Soulville (W.O.W. Records)
Kokayi – Robots & Dinosaurs (QN5 Music)
Lazer Sword – Lazer Sword (Innovative Leisure Records)

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English metalcore act Architects have been playing a new song entitled ‘Delete Rewind’ on tour in the UK.

The Brighton band have been performing with Norma Jean and Devil Sold His Soul in support, and will release their fourth album, The Here and Now, in January.

A second new song, ‘Day In, Day Out,’ can be heard on MySpace.

Cheers to Steve Gillespie for the tip.

Electric Owls’ 2009 debut Ain’t Too Bright was one of the year’s overlooked gems – so overlooked, in fact, that we disgracefully forgot to ever get around to reviewing it (though I did save all of our souls by putting it on my year-end list).

No such mistakes this time. On November 9, the other band led by Comas frontman Andy Herod, will release an EP Cullowhee Songs and I will not let it go by without even a casual mention. So here is that casual mention.

Lead track ‘When I Was a Flood’ sets the tone, and that tone is a little more aggressive than we’re used to from the band. Ain’t Too Bright was, ironically, quite a bright record – expansive and ebullient with rich, summery chords and tight vocal harmonies offset with broody, fuzzy guitars.

‘When I Was a Flood’ sounds just as big, but the acoustic guitars have given way to sparse, plucked banjo; the vocal harmonies remain, but they’re stretched and disconnected, while Herod’s lead vocal is a bluesy wail rather than a twee holler; the guitar fuzz has been pushed right down the mix to bare background noise. There are lots of little changes that add up to a fairly different-sounding whole, yet it’s still unmistakeably Electric Owls.

Electric Owls – ‘When I Was A Flood’

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